One thing is certainly clear; the Nets plan to be busy before the Feb. 21 trade deadline.
Just a few short hours after I finished a story about the possible Kris Humphries for Ben Gordon trade that has been talked about, ESPN’s Chris Broussard reports that the Nets are very interested in Atlanta forward Josh Smith. Both the Nets and the Hawks have discussed a possible trade for Smith but one source said “nothing is close yet.”
“While the Nets certainly want Gordon, sources said acquiring Smith is their higher priority A trade for Smith would seemingly kill a deal for Gordon, because Humphries is one of the players being discussed with Atlanta. The Nets are willing to give up Humphries and second-year shooting guard MarShon Brooks for Smith. But it almost certainly will take more than a Humphries-Brooks combination to pry Smith away from Atlanta, and one source said the Hawks want Brooklyn’s first-round pick.”
On top of a draft pick, the Hawks are looking for a young center that the Nets don’t have. For this trade to get done, the Nets will most likely have to get a third team involved to fill all of the Hawks’ needs.
Also discussed in the trade is the possibility of Atlanta guard Anthony Morrow coming back to the Nets as a part of the deal. Morrow played the last two seasons with the Nets in New Jersey and could be a sleeper for that 3-point shooter they were looking for in the Gordon trade.
Smith is averaging 16.9 points 8.5 rebounds per game this season and would give the Nets a tough interior defender. Smith is also averaging 2.2 blocks per game this season and in 2010 became the youngest player to reach 1000 blocks at age 24.
That same year, he was named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team.
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